Publications user guide

Portfolio Analyser

This guide provides essential guidance on the use of the Publications section of Portfolio Analyser. Further and more detailed guidance is available in the Portfolio Analyser User Guidance [PDF, 3.46 MB]. Adobe Reader is required to open this file, which you can download from the plug-ins page.

Overview & data currency


The Publications section of Portfolio Analyser provides facilities for the investigation of publications and other outputs from BBSRC sponsored Institutes such as journals, books, conference proceedings, reports, theses, articles, patents, computer programs, protein and DNA sequences, plant varieties and agricultural models.

The Publications section of Portfolio Analyser is updated biannually during Spring and Autumn.

Quick start

  1. Use the Publications Search to define a search strategy, adding search terms or using any of the supplied search criteria as required.
  2. Submit the search strategy to retrieve a result set as a list of matching publications.

Text searching


Portfolio Analyser uses Lucene text search technology. This supports wildcards, Boolean and other operators to link and use query terms wherever these are employed in defining a search strategy in the Awards or Publication sections of the system.


  • A search query is broken into terms and operators
  • A term may be a single word e.g. crop or a phrase consisting of a group or words surrounded by double quotes e.g. "crop improvement"
  • Automatic correction is not applied to any misspelled words
  • Stemming is not applied to any terms
  • Wildcards can be used within a term to broaden the scope of a search (see below)
  • Multiple terms can be combined together using Boolean operators to form a more complex query (see below)
  • Boolean operators must be used as capitals i.e. OR, AND, NOT
  • Queries are not case sensitive

Using wildcards

In search context, wildcards replace a single letter or a series of letters in order to expand results.

Use the ? symbol to perform a single character wildcard search. The single wildcard search looks for terms that match with the single character replaced.

Use the * symbol to carry out a multiple wildcard search and look for 0 or more characters e.g. h*moglobin to return hemoglobin or haemoglobin, tomato* to return tomato or tomatoes.

Wildcard queries will not work when used:

  • as the first character (prefix) of a search term e.g. *nanotechnology
  • within a phrase query e.g. "gene sequenc*"


A search operator is an instruction that joins search terms to form a new, more complex query. It enables you to look for several words at once by informing Lucene how to link search terms. The most common search operators are the Boolean operators (must be used as capitals i.e. AND, OR, NOT) and the use of double quotes to specify an exact phrase or whole word. These allow the inclusion or exclusion of documents from the search results.

Search operators

Group Operator Description Example
Boolean OR Finds documents that contain at least one of the specified terms.

The OR operator links two terms and finds matching documents if either of the terms exist in a document. The OR operator helps you broaden your search by including synonyms or related terms. Note: OR is the default operator. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms, the OR operator is used.
crop OR plant

Finds documents containing crop or plant, or both.
AND Finds documents that contain all of the specified terms.

Use the AND operator to search for documents in which all the terms joined with the AND operator are present. Therefore, if 4 keywords are joined with AND in a search, only documents containing all 4 keywords will be returned. On the other hand, a document that contains 3 of the 4 keywords will not be returned. The AND operator helps you narrow your search. Their order is not important.

Be careful not to overuse the AND operator in a query; a search that is too specific could overlook relevant results.
crop AND improvement AND farm

Finds documents containing all three terms.
NOT Excludes the data fields or documents that contain the specified word.

Use the NOT operator to ignore documents that contain the specified words. The NOT operator helps you narrow your search.

Note: The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term e.g. the following search will return no results NOT genetics

Be careful with the use of NOT as the attempt to narrow the search may be too exclusive and eliminate relevant documents.
farm NOT crop

Finds documents that do not contain crop but contain farm.
Other Quotation marks

Finds documents that contain the whole word or the exact phrase.

Quotation marks can also be used to search for an exact phrase.

Note: Exact phrase queries apply to groups of terms (words, numbers, etc.), not single terms.
"crop improvement"

Finds documents containing this exact phrase.



Strategically funded institutes

We provide strategic funding to eight institutes. They deliver innovative, world-class bioscience research and training, leading to wealth and job creation, generating high returns for the UK economy. They have strong links with business, industry and the wider community, and support policy development.

The institutes' research underpins key sectors of the UK economy such as agriculture, bioenergy, biotechnology, food and drink and pharmaceuticals. In addition, the institutes maintain unique research facilities of national importance.

  • The Babraham Institute undertakes world-leading research into understanding the biology of how our bodies work, including what changes as we age and during disease
  • The Earlham Institute (EI) is a research institute focused on exploring living systems by applying computational science and biotechnology to answer ambitious biological questions and generate enabling resources
  • The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) is an internationally-recognised research and teaching centre providing a unique base for research in response to global challenges such as food security, bioenergy and sustainability, and the impacts of climate change
  • The John Innes Centre (JIC) fosters a creative, curiosity-driven approach to fundamental questions in bioscience, with a view to translating that into societal benefits
  • The Pirbright Institute is a world-leading centre of excellence in research and surveillance of virus diseases of farm animals and viruses that spread from animals to humans
  • The Quadram Institute creates new interfaces between food science, gut biology and the microbiome, human health and disease with a focus on healthy ageing
  • The Roslin Institute is a world-leading institute for animal research that aims to enhance the lives of animals and humans
  • Rothamsted Research is a world-leading, non-profit research centre that focuses on strategic agricultural science to the benefit of farmers and society worldwide


Portfolio Analyser data is based on a ‘calendar’ year.


All results tables in Portfolio Analyser provide a data sorting capability. Results can be reordered by clicking the column heading to perform an ascending or descending alphabetic or numeric sort, as appropriate.

Exporting data & Terms & Conditions of Use

The Awards System provides facilities to export data via a number of file formats i.e.

  • Extensible Markup Language (XML)
  • Microsoft Excel (XLS)
  • Comma Separated Values (CSV)
  • Portable Document Format (PDF)

Users must accept the terms and conditions (opens in new window) before being permitted to proceed with an export.

Scope & Caveats


Portfolio Analyser contains details of Institute publications starting from 1997 to the present.

Some of the information held is provided by applicants. BBSRC does not accept responsibility for the accuracy of this data.